Like so many people, I'm having a hard time realizing it is true that Michael Jackson is dead.
I had been upset all day about Farrah dying. She had struck a chord in America, all that fabulous hair and great teeth, not to mention her great body. Every second woman in America still has some form of her iconic hair style. Come on admit it! You know you still flip it back like Farrah in a way. LOL!
We had all watched her develop as an actress,surprising everyone that the popular blond was not empty-headed at all, but a force to be reckoned with.
I had been asked by Bob Jones, who was the head of Motown's publicity machine at the time, who later became Michael's press liason, if I was interested in becoming an angel after Farrah left the show. At the time, I was still with the Supremes and though over-the-moon flattered, I had heard that they were picked up at 4:30 A.M and worked till 8 in the evening, had to learn lines for the next day, slept and then started all over again!
They were all having trouble with their personal relationships and that gave me great pause. I thought about it a good while, and said no thanks ( what if, what if??).
At any rate all of this was going through my head and I was so sad. I had heard Ryan O'Neal tell Barbara Walters the night before that he had asked Farrah to marry him and she had said yes, and now that would never happen.
Then people on Twitter began to talk about Michael having had a cardiac arrest. I thought it was a nasty joke. But like millions of others, I saw it unfold. Twitter's trending charts were mostly about Michael
suddenly, and the word spread like wildfire. I turned on the tv and as it all became verified, my heart sank. Disbelief took over. It couldn't be real!
And then they announced he was gone. His brother, holding back tears, told the world that it was all true,
I was devastated. What an eerie day.
I remember the feeling I had, hearing Michael for the first time singing and dancing James Brown's "I got the feeling"; the joy and simple passion in his young voice. He loved who he was as an artist, and what he created. And to so many, he meant a tremendous inspiration for their creative energy.
I remember when there was a competition between the Jacksons and the Osmonds in the press: the biggest teen draws in America.
I remember Michael and his brothers laughing and lounging on the back stairs of one of Stevie Wonder's Hollywood record parties, they were all so handsome there together, painting a picture in my mind.
I remember he and his brothers joking, shy and fun-loving, checking out all the girls (me included) at the Hollywood Canteen, when I was there with the Supremes.
I remember going to his family's house in Encino, all of them in robes, lounging by the pool, giggling like kids, Michael hiding behind the door of the studio, jumping out and scaring the others. What a load of fun they were.
I can remember sweet LaToya blushing, when I asked her if she wanted to be in the Supremes with Scherrie Payne and I, after Mary left. She was so soft spoken and pretty without any makeup. She'd got extremely excited. 'I'd love to, but Joe would never let me!" she exclaimed. My mom was teaching Janet at the time, coaching her for her first recordings to get her strong vocally.
I remember sitting in Stevie's studio at Wonderland for hours with Michael, listening to the new recordings of "Songs in the key of life". Michael was so incredibly shy. (I can't express how painful it seemed to be for him, how obviously uncomfortable he was in his own skin.) The music was booming in the booth. Michael and I sat mostly in silence, and as he relaxed a bit and began to groove to the music. His whole body got into the music, and you could see him choreographing it in his head.
I can remember when he looked at me and smiled and we nodded and clapped our hands to the breathtakingly brilliant music. In between two songs we talked a bit. I can't share what he said, but it was so sweet and heartfelt. He always called my mom, Miss Greene; (they all did) and he left me with a hug and kiss and "give my love to Miss Greene". I'd had him to myself and hadn't told him all of the things I thought of later. I wish, I wish.......
I remember when he left and Steve came in talk to me. "Michael's going to record our song, "I Can't Help It." We hugged and did our jump up and down thing. Steve and I were giggling and so excited too. We all had Michael Jackson fever.
I remember when "Bad" came out. I was living in London. My son was almost three and was just getting into music . He'd dance in front of the tv like Michael and we'd laugh. When Michael came to London with the tour, we were given complimentary tickets and we didn't tell my son. That day, we got in the car, and he fell asleep. When he woke up, he was in his stroller at Wembley Stadium. They announced Michael's name and as he became fully awake, Michael rose through the floor and the crowd erupted! My baby couldn't believe his eyes. He started crying out: "Michael, Michael" with the 90,000 strong crowd. I'll never forget his little face at the sight of the King of Pop. My heart just breaks with the memories.
I cannot say that Michael Jackson was a bad person. I've read all of the stuff I could get my hands on, I watched the last trial news and I've heard all of the awful things people have said and continue to say about him.
But I could never believe those things. In my mind, Michael will always be singing, dancing, making his magic and making me smile.
Bon Voyage, Michael. A kid forever now, hopefully forgiven in death.
Love you forever, cause "I Can't Help It".
Rest in Peace.
Listening to: that little voice in ma head
Reading: the book of love-only for the brave
Watching: and praying
Playing: the fates, to win (f8m8)
Eating: successful pie
Drinking: in your arty funk